Oh, you know, just participated on a 12 person relay team that ran 199 miles from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. No big deal.
When a running buddy first asked me to be on their team for The Relay we had just finished a speed workout during our half training. Here's a secret, you can pretty much ask me to do anything after a good run and I'll say yes. At the time, running 3 legs totaling 14-17 miles over 34ish hours seemed doable.
By the time Friday rolled around I wasn't so sure. After the half marathon in March, I focused on completing P90x2. I will fully admit to losing interest in running. I liked the overall fitness results I saw from X2 more than what I saw during my training. Since the half I ran a handful of times with the longest distance being 4 miles. I knew my strength had improved, but I wasn't sure my endurance would be there for all 3 legs. I don't mind being the slow one, but I also didn't want to let the team down.
|Would you want to let down a team with the best name/shirts ever?|
My first leg came Saturday morning around 8:45 am. I ran on Silverado Trail in Napa, a few rolling hills, lots of turns and gorgeous scenery. It was one of those humbling, spiritual moments where I realized just how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful state. I also really wanted to stop at Rombauer for some Chardonnay, but I kept my focus. I turned on the mile cues with my RunKeeper app, but kept the pacing off, I just wanted to run. After finishing, I looked at my app and realized my mile pace was almost a minute faster than what I predicted. 7 months from when I started running, I was beyond ecstatic to finally see improvement!
The 2nd and 3rd legs were marked as Hard and Easy. The hard included a crazy "hill" and the easy was not quite as easy as I hoped, but I finished. After each leg, I remembered what I liked about this whole running thing. The calm that can be found out there on the road combined with the sense of accomplishment when finishing. I definitely enjoyed the fact that it felt more like going for a run on my own than an actual race. I think I needed The Relay to spark my motivation again.
We did have a minor setback during my 2nd leg, when our van decided to stay in the mud for awhile (knew something would happen during the crazy full moon), but our team pulled together and we found a way to make sure each runner made it to their legs. No one wanted to give up. The ladies I ran with, and our driver, are amazing.
The overall experience was incredibly inspiring. Our van finished better than predicted and van #2 totally crushed their legs. I really don't know how people run that fast. The Relay goes beyond my running "reawakening" though. Put on by an amazing group, Organs R Us, the money raised will save lives.
I can't wait to be a part of it again next year!